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Psychiatry Res. 2005 Apr 15;134(2):161-7.

A dimensional approach to personality in atypical depression.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto, c/o CAMH Room 1121, 250 College Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5T 1R8.


The current study addresses the relationship of personality and atypical depression using the Five-Factor Model (FFM), a dimensional approach to personality. The aim of the study was to help clarify which personality traits are more characteristic of atypical depression than of other depressive subtypes. Outpatients (n=160) with non-psychotic major depression were characterized as having atypical (n=26), or non-atypical depression (n=134) based on DSM-IV criteria. To limit the effect of state depression, personality was assessed after subjects received a minimum of 14 weeks of antidepressant treatment. The Revised NEO Personality Inventory, which generates data based on the FFM, was the primary assessment measure. Post-treatment, relative to the non-atypical comparison group, the atypical group had significantly higher scores on the dimension of Neuroticism, the facets of Impulsivity and Anger-Hostility, and a significantly lower score on the facet of Deliberation. In sum, the FFM provides a new understanding of which unique personality characteristics may be associated with atypical depression.

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